Patients & Visitors

Axial Spondyloarthritis Service


Residential Self-Management Programme

This two week programme aims to provide participants with the tools they need to manage all aspects of their condition. We aim to improve spinal range of movement, confidence to exercise and begin to build fitness. Alongside daily exercise in the gym and hydro pool, we provide interactive education sessions addressing topics such as managing sleep, pain, fatigue and flare-ups.

The majority of the core content is delivered by Physiotherapists who are specialists in the management of AxSpA (AS) and we have input from the wider specialist Rheumatology Team including Occupational Therapists, Podiatrists, Specialist Nurses and a Psychologist.

Each participant will have the opportunity to attend two medical review sessions with Dr Raj Sengupta and his team, with input from the AxSpA Specialist Physiotherapists.

Accommodation - September 2022

The RNHRD relocated from its original buildings in central Bath to the RUH in 2019, just as the COVID pandemic began to develop. The AxSpA course at the RUH continues with a core philosophy of supporting people with AxSpA to live well and develop successful self-management skills. This is achieved by sharing skills with each other, and by shared learning with the clinicians on the course.

The accommodation for the course is now at Bernard Ireland House, on the RUH site. This residential building is shared by other services for people with long-term pain conditions.

It is not a ward, there are no clinical staff in the building out of hours. We expect that people on the course are essentially independent for most day-to-day activities, for example: washing, dressing, and taking medications.

Accommodation is in private individual rooms, some, but not all, are ensuite. The ensuite rooms are allocated based on clinical need for these facilities. There are stairs and lift to the first-floor accommodation.

Bernard Ireland House is a 400m outside walk to the Brownsword Therapies Centre (less if walked via the hospital) where the course is delivered. We do not provide any transport between these two sites.

Food is provided (breakfast - cereals, toast; lunch - sandwich, crisps, fruit; supper - hot meal) but people are free to supplement this with their own food. There is a large fridge, and microwave, but there is no cooking equipment eg. hob or oven. There are communal spaces within Bernard Ireland House.

The RUH is a short walk to open park land and there are regular buses into central Bath.


You will be asked to ensure you are COVID negative prior to travelling to Bath, by testing with an LFT kit available from the government website ( You will also be asked to test mid-week, and on the middle weekend whilst on the course.

COVID guidance changes frequently. We currently do not ask for masks to be worn, but this may change in the future at short notice. We ask you to recognise there are other residents at Bernard Ireland House, who maybe medically vulnerable and mask-wearing could be requested for these reasons.

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